Lower South

May, 2005
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Narrow-Leaf Zinnia
Zinnia angustifolia is finally receiving the attention it deserves as a super bedding plant for the spring to fall season. Its cousin, the standard garden zinnia (Z. elegans), has long been a favorite of gardeners. But consider the added benefits of narrow-leaf zinnia: dwarf habit (8- to 10-inch-tall mounds covered in blooms), resistance to powdery mildew, superb heat tolerance, great in containers and hanging baskets, and virtually carefree (no deadheading!). Narrow-leaf zinnia is available in orange, white, and yellow. It loves full to partial sun, and (although drought tolerant) prefers moderate soil moisture levels.

Clever Gardening Technique

Regain Ground Lost to Weeds
When weeds get a head start you can still get back in control of your garden beds. First, wet the weeds and soil thoroughly with a hose. If your weeds are too tall and won't lay down with the watering, you may need to mow or use a string trimmer to cut them down before proceeding to the next step. Then lay newspaper about four to six sheets thick over the weeds. Cover the entire row placing the newspaper right up around your garden plants. Wet the newspaper as you lay it to hold it in place, and then cover it with leaves or old spent hay. That will take care of the majority of your weed problems for the remainder of the season.

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